Don't be a victim

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Whatever journey taken in life is accompanied by a desire to leave behind the place they were in along with varying degrees of negative comment about the job, people, managers etc.

When you first meet this person it becomes clear from their comments that they are keen to leave behind their previous situation and start something new. When they move on from your circle they will offer the same negative view to their new audience.

In some cases these people are highly vocal about the failings of others and draw attention to mistakes in a belittling manner. Did you ever feel as though they were doing this to mask or hide their own insecurities or weaknesses and to gain popularity for themselves?

They have done it for so long that without realising it, it has become a repeated pattern of behaviour, and in each situation they have subconsciously become the victim in the situation.

Other people by contrast have faced up to their situation and have taken responsibility for their circumstances and the decisions they make in life. They may occasionally choose to be self-critical and question their actions and choices so as not to make the same mistakes again or simply make better choices.

So, in a job interview, when it comes to looking at what motivates a candidate, generally there are two types of attitude. The person running From, and the person running To.

The former is the victim, the person who wants to leave something behind, the latter wants to gain or attain something. Who would you hire all things being equal?

Imagine an interview scenario:

Q - Why do you want to leave the Forces?

A 1 - I don’t like the discipline, I hate the people, my Sergeant is useless. They keep sending me abroad and I hate travelling. I have become an expert in [insert skill here] but my Troop Commander does not like me and won’t release me to pursue it.


A 2 - I have achieved what I wanted to achieve as a Tank Driver, I’ve had some amazing life experiences and now it is time to try something new. I want to take what I have learned in the RAF and apply it in a commercial organisation and make a real difference. I have become an expert at [insert skill here] and as I have come to the end of my contract and my options are limited, so I think the time has come to be a professional [insert skill here].

Take a long hard look at what motivates you, work out what you have achieved and what you want to do next. Are you too busy blaming everyone/everything else to see what is going on around you?

Look at your life experiences and what you want to do with all that knowledge and experience. What can you achieve in the future, and what can a company offer you?

Are you ready to run towards something or are you still running away? 

Article written by Ex-Military Foundation mentor & supporter Adam Fifoot